Man Haron Monis, the man responsible for the hostage situation and shooting in Sydney yesterday, had convictions against him, was known to be mentally ill and was recently reported to be ‘unhinged’.
Despite these things and despite the strict gun laws in Australia, Monis was still able to obtain enough firearms to subdue hostages, killing some as well as himself. (Assuming later reports don’t indicate he was shot by authorities.)
In 1996, following the Port Arthur massacre, the federal government and the states and territories agreed to a uniform approach to firearms regulation, including a ban on certain semiautomatic and self-loading rifles and shotguns, standard licensing and permit criteria, storage requirements and inspections, and greater restrictions on the sale of firearms and ammunition.
Yet Monis was able to get, at least, a shotgun that was sawed off. By himself, perhaps.
Firearms license applicants would be required to take a safety course and show a “genuine reason” for owning a firearm, which could not include self-defense.
Which is rather disturbing that the government does not want, and isn’t shy about stating as such, its citizens to be able to defend themselves. Perhaps, if they were allowed to defend themselves… Well, we won’t go there – for now.
Their reason for refusing a person a license:
would include “reliable evidence of a mental or physical condition which would render the applicant unsuitable for owning, possessing or using a firearm.” A waiting period of twenty-eight days would apply to the issuing of both firearms licenses and permits to acquire each weapon.
Now, considering Monis was convicted in 2009 of sending offensive letters to the families of deceased Australian soldiers who died while serving in Afghanistan, you’d think that conviction would prevent his ability to purchase firearms.
Legislation, specific to New South Wales – where Sydney is the capital, in reference to who is not allowed to obtain a firearm, states:
an offence involving the infliction of actual bodily harm upon a person in respect of which the penalty imposed was imprisonment for 28 days or more, or a penalty of $200 or more, or both, or
(ii) an offence involving kidnapping or abduction, or
(iii) an offence involving stalking or intimidation, or
(iv) an offence of attempting to commit, threatening to commit or conspiring to commit an offence referred to in subparagraphs (i)–(iii),
In December of last year, Monis was charged with being an accessory to the murder of his ex-wife, who was allegedly stabbed 18 times and then set on fire. He was then given and released on bail. His attorney, and others, said he was known to have some sort of mental illness.
Yet, still, he was – somehow able to obtain firearms. How is not yet known.
Their Statistical Information and Analysis seemingly attempts to ease the mind of its citizens by stating facts and data of studies done that show a definitive reduction in the amount of gun crime in the country.
Per the National Center for Policy Analysis:
Between 1995 and 2007, Australia, with a gun ban, saw a 31.9 percent decrease in the murder rate
America’s murder rate, during that same time period and without a gun ban, dropped 31.7 percent.
In Australia 2006, assault rose 49.2 percent and robbery 6.2 percent. Sexual assault — Australia’s equivalent term for rape — increased 29.9 percent. Overall, Australia’s violent crime rate rose 42.2 percent.
During the same period of time, U.S. violent crime decreased 31.8 percent: rape dropped 19.2 percent; robbery decreased 33.2 percent; and aggravated assault dropped 32.2 percent. Australian women are now raped over three times as often as American women.
Monis who was out on bail – after having been previously convicted of a crime, known to be mentally unstable and described as ‘unhinged’ by his former attorney – was able to obtain a firearm anyway.
Why? Rather to go into a dissertation as to why this is, I’ll sum it up in four small words:
CRIMINALS DON’T OBEY LAWS
“If you’ve got a gun law that criminals will obey, why not just turn it into a murder law that criminals will obey—then we won’t have to worry about the gun part.” -Andrew Ford
And now, what is the response from those who support the draconian gun laws already in place in Australia? Do they acknowledge the fact that criminals don’t follow laws? Do they admit that punishing the law abiding because of the criminal is cruel and a violation of their inalienable right to life?
Of course not.
They blame the “watered down” and “lax” laws in their country. They shamelessly jump on the coat tails of the tragedy and use it for their own purposes of removing the ability of self defense from its citizens even more than they have already.
Why? To control them.